42

Laura Crema: Almost Blue

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Laura Crema: Almost Blue Laura Crema uses Almost Blue to revive great standards in very refreshing form, turning back generations of time to pay the highest form of respect to her predecessors. Although Crema included two tracks recorded live, one wonders how different this collection would feel to the listener had the band just recorded this whole album as a live set. This album is a nightclub gig without the smoke.

Laura Crema learned well under the guidance of legendary jazz vocalists Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton at Banff, Alberta (Canada). She knows when to hold the note like a longing memory and when to let it go like a painful betrayal. Crema is a true artist, having distinguished herself in music, dance and choreography across Canada. A wider understanding of arts has helped Crema with this part of her musical art. We can feel it in the music.

“There’s a part of me that’s always true.”

”I Remember You” provides the only jarring energy surge of this record. Its up tempo features a club-tight solo by pianist Miles Black that is offset by his lovely placement of chords. The difficulty with this situation has always been that of deciding where to place one up-tempo tune in a collection of ballads. Perhaps Crema should have chosen a different song for this spot in the line-up.

“Young and Foolish” draws back to the blues in a rendition that would please Jimmy Van Heusen. Pianist David Restivo is comfortable in the slower groove and he solos with the lazy brilliance of a Sunday afternoon thought. Crema croons in a truth too seldom told these days: “I wish that we were young and foolish again.”

This incarnation of “Stormy Weather” is performed over 25 years after Harold Arlen, one of the song’s authors, left us. Kenny Werner makes a great cameo of flourishing piano that combines to beat slightly with William Gallison’s harmonica wanderings.

“Just can’t get my poor self together. I’m weary all the time.”

Kodi Hutchinson’s bass turns “All of You” into a funky reinvention of Cole Porter’s classic. Crema packages her vocal in the classicism that underlies this music and that brings honesty to this recording.

“From This Moment On” sizzles very much in the spirit of Cole Porter. Laura Crema can cook and tease, but this song provided her the opportunity to extend into straight jazz voice (without words). Pianist Randy Halberstat impresses with selection and skill in his only appearance on this record.

“It’s only human for anyone to want to be in love. But who wants to be in love in vain?”

“The Meaning of the Blues” extends the overwhelming blues feel of this record to almost six minutes – the longest song of this collection. The lyrics may expound on the colour blue, but the music defines what blue feels like.

Almost Blue is not almost blue; it is blues in its most jazzy, traditional form. May Laura Crema hold on to the integrity of the traditions she explored in this, her third, album.


Track Listing: Almost Blue; I Remember You; Young and Foolish; Like Someone In Love; Stormy Weather; All of You; Comes Love; From This Moment On; In Love In Vain; The Meaning of the Blues.

Personnel: Laura Crema (vocals); David Restivo (piano, tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 10); Miles Black (piano, tracks 2 and 9); Kenny Werner (piano, track 5); Randy Halbertstat (piano, track 8); Kodi Hutchinson (bass, tracks 1, 3, 4, 6 and 10); Paul Rushka (bass, tracks 2 and 9); Mike Lent (bass, tracks 7 and 8); Owen Howard (drums, tracks 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10); Craig Scott (drums, tracks 2 and 9); William Gallison (harmonica, tracks 4, 5 and 10).

Title: Almost Blue | Year Released: 2003


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review I Go Back Home: A Story About Hoping And Dreaming
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!